Whole 30 Week 1 + My Why January 1, 2017 | ** See my full recap post with all meal plans, shopping lists, supplies and Whole30 results HERE** Hi Friends! Happy New Year! This post makes me wildly nervous to write because it’s so far out of my comfort zone, but since I share so much about my life on this blog, it didn’t feel right not to share this journey as well. So, here we go…I’m starting Whole 30 today! A lifestyle change in regards to eating has been on my heart for many months now and this is finally the time to make something happen. I would love for you guys to follow along on this journey with me…here’s more about it all… My Why: This feels a little bit like confession (you Catholics know the feeling I’m talking about). My relationship with food is completely unhealthy. I’m an emotional eater and food has always been my love language. I need to step back and evaluate why I eat, what I eat and really understand how and why my body reacts to food groups. This pregnancy has really magnified my unhealthy habits and I know for certain that I can do better for this sweet baby girl and for myself. I’m totally hooked on sugar, eat Chickfila multiple times a week and am 100% lazy when it comes to preparing fresh and healthy food for my family. I want to come away from this with a new perspective on food, learn how to naturally flavor food and experiment in the kitchen with new recipes, and create an overall healthier lifestyle for myself and my family. My Plan: Start Simple. I’m trying not to get stressed and overwhelmed with all of the rules and options. I’ve done some research, but to be honest, there are tons of things that I still don’t know. I’m confident that I know the basics and I’m going to keep my initial recipes simple while I learn how to use “approved” ingredients to flavor our food as our taste buds adjust. I’m going to actually use a grocery list (true story, I NEVER go to the store with a list) and actually plan out each meal (never do this either). I’m planning to spend some extra time in the kitchen prepping food and will also be mentally be prepared to each leftovers. I’m also going to give myself some grace. Not all of the recipes will turn out and sometimes my plan won’t actually go as planned…and that’s okay. I will have backup snacks on hand just in case and I know that what I eat is always a choice. FAQ: When I asked over on Instagram if you guys would be interested in a Whole 30 post, here were some of the questions and concerns that I got in reply… What is Whole 30? Whole 30 is a lifestyle and not a diet. In fact, there’s no weighing yourself during the entire 30 days. The program requires you to get back to basics (meat, seafood, fruit, veggies, root veggies, and nuts) and ditch foods that are known to cause inflammation (processed, sugar, alcohol, dairy, legumes and wheat). The premise is that by cutting out these damaging foods, you give your body time to heal, while eating clean foods that are nourishing and easy to digest. Read more of the specifics HERE. Is it safe to do while pregnant? Yes, 100%!! If I told my doctor that I was cutting out sugar, ditching fast food and eating more fruits and veggies, I’m sure he would jump for joy! Where do you find recipes and inspiration? PINTEREST! Pinterest has been a lifesaver when it comes to finding shopping lists, creative recipes and meal plans. Make sure to follow my Whole 30 Board HERE. Is it easy? Umm I cannot think of one thing about this program that’s going to be easy for me. It’s going to be challenging both mentally and physically for me to reset my body. Meal planning, prepping, cooking and eating with intention are all foreign concepts to me, so to say this is going to be hard feels like a bit of an understatement at this point. Whole 30 really puts it into perspective though when they say: “Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.” Is it healthy? Yep! Although you can have things like bacon and potatoes, it’s still about moderation. Since I’m pregnant, I won’t be counting calories down to the every macro, but I am well aware of what I will be consuming and still know that eating more than 1-2 pieces of bacon a day is not overall healthy. If you do have a few pounds to shed, you can definitely use this 30 days to get rid of it. Some people note that the weight comes off easily and unexpectedly since they are ridding their body of so many toxins, but most people don’t even note the weight so much as how good they feel. Although I’m no doctor, I would suggest using an app like “My Fitness Pal” to track your eating and make sure that you are still getting a well balanced diet while on Whole 30. It will also track your caloric and fat intake if you are trying to lose weight…but still no scale for the month! So, this first week isn’t going to be perfect (although I’m NOT cheating) as I learn the ropes, but here’s my best shot at a meal plan. I feel like getting in a groove will help and learning my way around pantry staples will only make this journey continually easier as the weeks go on. Let me know what you guys think of this format of meal planning. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a neat way to do a digital shopping list, BUT I did roundup all of the recipes I’ll be executing this week and you can go in a fill in your shopping list should you choose to follow along. Each day is outlined below and all recipes are linked back to their original source. They are also all on my Whole 30 Pinterest board HERE. Week ONE Monday Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs + Easy Salsa Lunch: Taco Salad Dinner: Dairy Free Loaded Baked Potato Soup Tuesday Breakfast: Loaded Breakfast Casserole Lunch: Taco Salad Dinner: Dairy Free Loaded Baked Potato Soup Wednesday Breakfast: Loaded Breakfast Casserole Lunch: Egg + Avocado Cups Dinner: Loaded Enchilada Sweet Potatoes Thursday Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs + Easy Salsa Lunch: Broccoli Salad Dinner: Loaded Enchilada Sweet Potatoes Friday Breakfast: Breakfast Salad Lunch: Broccoli Salad Dinner: Smoked Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup Saturday Breakfast: Breakfast Salad Lunch: Loaded Sweet Potato Fries Dinner: Smoked Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup Homemade Condiments: Avocado Chimichurri Sauce (use on eggs, Breakfast casserole and baked potatoes) Cilantro Lime Jalepeno Dressing (for Taco Salad) Creamy Almond Date Butter (use for snacking on Apples or in smoothies) Shopping Lists: Whole 30 Approved Shopping List Trader Joe’s Staples Other Things That I Plan To Do: Hard Boil 1 doz eggs (to have as snacks and as healthy add-ons) Stock up on fruit to have in moderation (they say it’s key not to use fruit as a crutch to satisfy your sweet tooth). Clean out my pantry and fridge. Store foods that will keep through the month and part with anything else. I’m so excited to get started! To take control of my relationship with food and really get back to basics when it comes to what I’m putting into my body. It feels great to not have the pressure of the scale haunting me during this process and solely basing my success upon how I feel. I would love for you guys to join in, tune in and follow along during this next 30 days. Please leave any Whole 30 recipes that you love below in the comments or tag them on Instagram using the hashtag #SYSWhole30! Also, would you guys be interested in this weekly post being a linkup? Leave me any and all feedback!! Cheers, friends!